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Hermit Crab

Keith Ball (July)



Another find on our sea kayaking rock pool extravaganza was this little hermit crab.
Hermit crabs are not actually that closely related to true crabs. They have long soft abdomens that they protect from predators by carrying around an empty seashell. The tip of the hermit crab's abdomen is adapted to clasp strongly onto the of the snail shell. As the hermit crab grows in size, it has to find a larger shell and abandon the previous one.
This habit of living in a shell is what gave rise to the popular name "hermit crab", which is a reference to the idea of a hermit living alone in a small cave.
There are about five hundred species of hermit crabs in the world, most of which are aquatic and live in. However in the tropics, a number of species are terestrial and some of these are quite large, the Caribbean hermit crab is known to climb trees!






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